Microsoft BPOS has support Blackberry linking for a while, but for the full BES (Blackberry Enterprise Server) experience, users were required to purchase the Blackberry licences separately. Not any more as
“Microsoft Online Services is now a BlackBerry® certified partner and BlackBerry Alliance Elite Member”
which gives us “Microsoft Online Services Hosted BlackBerry service”.
· Host and operate BlackBerry Enterprise Server
· Provide all BlackBerry Enterprise Server server, client licenses and support services Included in the service (There is no need for customers to provide licenses or service agreements.)
· Provide technical support to the customer’s IT administrators, including interfacing with RIM on troubleshooting as needed
The 3rd point there is a pretty attractive reason to go with this solution…as it gives you one port of call to troubleshoot your online services and your RIM infrastructure.
The features include:
“The Hosted BlackBerry Service is purchased and billed separately from Exchange Online Standard or the Business Productivity Online Suite Standard from Microsoft Online Services. It is a separate month-to-month auto-renewing agreement. Pricing is U.S.$10.00 per user per month with no minimum number of users required.”
There is a 30 day trial available so you can give it a whirl.
This is a good move on Microsoft’s part, positioning themselves as a more central pillar of a customer’s infrastructure and recognizing that Blackberries are here to stay. It’s good to see them embracing that rather than attempting to fight/ignore the competition as they might have done a few years ago.
You can see the full post here.